A passphrase is a sentence or phrase that along with your Bay Path UserID, will secure data that you have access to at the University. A passphrase has numerous benefits over a password.

Why use a passphrase?

The problem with passwords is that people tend to pick something easy to remember, which unfortunately makes passwords easy for hackers or criminals to crack. Typically, password policies request that you use numbers, symbols, or capital letters. Unfortunately, people commonly create easily guessable combinations, like adding an important date (e.g., a birthday or anniversary) onto a noun (e.g., a name or location or item on their desk). Even adding numbers as a replacement for letters (e.g., replacing an "O" with a zero, or an I with a one) have become easy for hackers to crack using modern computing hardware. 

Over time, information technology administrators have tried to overcome these obstacles by introducing a tremendous amount of complexity into passwords, by creating passwords that are as random as possible while adhering to typical password rules. The result is that people no longer remember their passwords, and often lead to people storing passwords insecurely (e.g., on a sticky-note under a keyboard or attached to a monitor). 

Passphrases balance the need for passwords that are difficult to guess and a person's ability to memorize their passphrase. Passphrases can be anything that you'd like - a favorite quote or song lyric. An in-joke between you and a loved one. By making a long passphrase, we can drop the requirement to have highly complex passwords, as it would be very difficult for a hacker to guess.

Passphrases at Bay Path University

Your Bay Path UserID is used to gain access to multiple systems, such as your email, Canvas and online resources offered via the Hatch Library. 

Your passphrase should be a complete sentence with capitalization and punctuation.

Your passphrase must adhere to the following:
  • Contain at least 8 characters
  • Contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one non-letter. Spaces are okay to use.
  • Your passphrase should not contain your name, your UserID or any personally identifiable information (Social Security Number, Passport Number, etc).
How often should I change my passphrase?
To ensure that your data remains safe, we recommend that you change your passphrase at minimum every year. You can change your passphrase by visiting https://account.baypath.edu